Academics

students working in class

Math

At Graham Hill we use two curricula to engage our student in math.

Math in Focus, approved June 2014, which uses the Singapore method of teaching math, takes an approach called “bar modeling” as the primary strategy to visually depict problems. Students learn early how to draw these models, and they continue to use them to show their thinking as problems become more complex. 

Math in Focus will be used as one basis for aligning curriculum with Common Core State Standards, the new statewide benchmarks that also emphasize pictures and graphics to foster “number sense” in learning math.

Math in Focus is a teaching tool that uses graphic models to help students think mathematically.

The program is considered excellent for language learners but also for all students in the general population

The second curricula used is Engage NY.

Engage NY is a set of Common Core-aligned curriculum and instructional resources, bilingual resources, performance tasks and assessment guidelines and materials. 

Students who understand a concept can:

  • identify examples and non-examples
  • describe concepts with words, symbols, drawings, tables or models
  • provide a definition of a concept
  • use the concept in different ways

Students who demonstrate procedural proficiency can:

  • quickly recall basic facts (addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division)
  • use standard algorithms – step-by-step mathematical procedures – to produce a correct solution or answer (might also include multiple algorithms)
  • use generalized procedures (such as the steps involved in solving an algebraic equation)
  • demonstrate fluency with procedures:
    • perform the procedure immediately and accurately
    • know when to use a particular procedure in a problem or situation
    • use the procedure as a tool that can be applied reflexively, and doesn’t distract from the task at hand (procedure is stored in long-term memory)

Students who can problem solve can:

  • reason
  • communicate their understanding in effective ways
    solve increasingly complex problems from grade to grade
  • use increasingly sophisticated language and symbols to communicate their understanding, from grade to grade

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Reading and Writing

Graham Hill has adopted Readers and Writers Workshops.

  • Readers Workshop is centered around students reading their "just right books". During Readers Workshop, students are involved in a mini-lesson teaching a specific skill, spend approximately 30 minutes reading their "just right books" and then share how they applied the mini lesson to their reading.
  • Writers Workshop is centered around students writing. Again, students are involved in a mini lesson where they learn a specific writing skills, they independently write for approximately 20 minutes and then have time to share their writing.

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Science

Vision: All students become scientifically literate.

Mission: All students are able to investigate scientifically in order to construct and acquire conceptual understanding of their world, develop positive scientific attitudes, and become scientifically literate. This is accomplished through a collaborative, interactive, rigorous science program responsive to the needs of diverse learners.

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